We recently spent spring break at the beach. We all enjoy the beach and as we spent our week exploring the small town nearby, we found a charming locally owned bookstore which became one of our favorite haunts. It had a separate room filled just with beach books for children! In fact, all of our vacation souvenirs came from the bookstore and we made friends with a couple of people who work there! Taking home two huge bags of books as souvenirs was definitely a first for us!
We found so many great books about the beach that I wanted to share the best of the best as well as our personal favorites. Some of these were new finds to us and some were old favorites. Either way, this is the ultimate list of beach books for children of any age! We were in the low country of South Carolina, so I’ve included some fun books about gators and sea turtles as well!
You can check out most of these books at your local library, or use the affiliate links provided to add them to your personal library. The Midlife Mamas makes a small commission on sales, but the price to you is exactly the same!
An introduction to the world of seashells, crabs, and sea stars including identification information, educational activities, and fun facts. Invites young naturalists to spot wildlife. Safety tips are provided and interesting activities are suggested.
The portable, fully illustrated, flexibound guide includes tips on how to hold a hermit crab, where to dig for mussels, how to make windchimes out of jingle shells, and more. A beautiful treasure box with magnetic closure holds the book and includes compartments for kids’ prized discoveries, such as coral, sea glass, and driftwood. Tucked into two of the compartments—and visible though the die-cut frame on the treasure box’s cover—are a mesh collecting bag for mess-free gathering and a magnifying jar for close-up observing.
A little boy saves Kermit from disaster, and the once cranky crab works hard to repay him.
One June night, under the full moon, Daniel’s mother wakes him up to see the extraordinary sight of horseshoe crabs spawning on the beach, just as they have every spring for an awesome 350 million years. But when Daniel returns in the morning, he finds only one lonely crab, marooned upside down in the sand. Can he possibly save it? Like a perfect day at the beach, CRAB MOON leaves an indelible memory of a special adventure between parent and child, and a quiet message about doing our part to preserve even earth’s oldest creatures.
What does an adventurous hermit crab from Folly Beach, South Carolina, do when he has outgrown his moon snail shell? Why, he goes shopping, of course! This book is a delightful story that follows Hermy on his search for a new shell. It celebrates the beauty of ocean life with 20 watercolor illustrations that entertain and educate the reader about the coastal environment of the Lowcountry.
Norval the Fish is hosting a seaside talkshow for the Fish Channel–and the Cat in the Hat and Thing One and Thing Two are Cameracat and Crew! Among Norval’s special guests are his old friend Clam-I-Am (a shy gal who lives in the sand and likes to spit), along with horseshoe and hermit crabs, jellyfish, sand fleas, starfish, seagulls, and miscellaneous mollusks. Seaweed, seaglass, tides, tidal pools, dunes, driftwood, and waves make cameo appearances, too. Warning: Beginning readers are apt to be swept away!
This delightful picture book for children, ages about 4-10, contains a variety of fun facts about beaches and contains 18 wonderful graphic images to accompany the story. It offers interesting facts, in simple language, and although appropriate for all these ages, for the 4 year old to early second grade, it will probably need to be viewed with a parent.
Students will encounter new words and concepts. They’ll read about some aspects of the beach that they may not have known about, like what is beach sand, the biggest sandcastle and black sand beaches. Other subjects in the book include, facts about what sand really is made up of and the disappearing beach. In addition, the end of each chapter gives your child a more information in the form of a factoid under the heading; Just Beachy…
Each spring, hundreds of thousands of horseshoe crabs crawl from the bottom of Delaware Bay to lay billions of pearly green eggs on the beaches. Their salty eggs provide a feast for scavenging coastal animals, but billions more are eaten by the flocks of shorebirds that stop to rest and feed each spring after flying north from their homes in South America. In recent years the horseshoe crab population has dwindled. In turn, the number of shorebirds that fly north each year has grown smaller. Illuminated with warm, detailed watercolors, Horseshoe Crabs and Shorebirds demonstrates the delicate relationship between these animals and is an excellent resource for ecology lessons, as well as a dramatic storybook for sharing.
With enough lunch for three, Mr. Magee and his dog Dee head out to the sea. But what begins as a fun day in the sun turns a bit bumpy when onel playful whale decides to say hello. Soon the crew that once was floating finds themselves flying! How will they get down? Who will come to their rescue? And when will they ever get to eat lunch? Down to the Sea with Mr. Magee is a great read-aloud, sure to provide fits of giggles.
A bright, science-minded boy goes to the beach equipped to collect and examine flotsam – anything floating that has been washed ashore. Bottles, lost toys, small objects of every description are among his usual finds. But there’s no way he could have prepared for one particular discovery: a barnacle-encrusted underwater camera, with its own secrets to share …and to keep.
Turn the colorful die-cut pages of this irresistible board book to discover just what makes little crab’s beach so cozy. Is it the soft sand? Is it the salty seaweed? No, it’s his loving family! Bright pictures, a sweet reassuring message, unique layered pages, and an adorable finger puppet combine to create interactive reading and playtime fun!
The young girl and her mother make their first footprints in the sand early on a summer morning. The child’s mind is soon swept up in exploration and discovery as she eagerly counts all the newfound natural wonders of the seashore.
Each fresh page shines brightly with the magic sparkle of a child’s summertime: from arriving and setting up a sun umbrella…to splashing around in a tide pool…to lovingly building a sandcastle decorated with seashells and feathers…to the return home and tucking into bed. In the evocative ebb and flow of words and pictures, the learning of names and the counting of beach creatures and the ocean’s flotsam becomes a shared journey of discovery and joy for parents and young children.
The Seaside Switch artfully investigates the high-tide and low-tide cycle of the ocean’s shore. This innovative picture book concept focuses on how the tides affect different sea and sand creatures. As the tide rolls up the shore, each takes its moment in the spotlight. From gulls feasting at low tide, to mussels opening to eat at high tide, The Seaside Switch is a beautiful cycle of taking turns. Throughout it all, a curious little boy pokes, prods, investigates, and sketches the wonders he sees. The book is also a celebration of senses, as sight, sound, scent, touch, and taste are all engaged in various passages of the text.
A young boy, who has never seen the sea, asks his mother to describe it. From there, Zolotow carefully chooses her words to create a poem full of the colors, sounds, and sights of a day at the beach. Minor’s softly detailed renderings reinforce the gentle mood.
A house is a home for you, a nest is a home for a bird, and a cave is a home for a bear. But for some animals a shell is a home. Snails and turtles and crabs and clams all have shells that act as their homes and protect them from harm. This Level 1 Let’s-Read-and-Find-Out picture book is a fascinating exploration of the many creatures that make a home in a shell.
This charming picture book describes the annual spawning of horseshoe crabs at Delaware Bay. Softly hued, delicately detailed watercolor spreads depict the events: the crabs gathering on the beach to mate and lay their eggs in the sand, migratory birds arriving to feast on the eggs that haven’t been buried deeply enough, scientists and volunteers coming to watch, and the baby crabs eventually hatching and making their way to the sea.
Young readers go wild over this new auditory adventure by Maurice Pledger. Sail the seas on an adventure to discover some of the world’s most exciting shores. As young adventurers explore the pop-op panoramas, they’ll hear the call of the scarlet ibis, the roar of a polar bear, and the bellow of an alligator. Each page lets children see and hear their way from shore to shore and get to know the many different creatures and animals that live there. For readers ready to explore, the sounds of the wild are calling!
BOOKS WITH A LOW COUNTRY FLAIR
Follow the photographic journal of Carolina, a critically ill loggerhead sea turtle, as she is nursed back to health at the Sea Turtle Hospital of the South Carolina Aquarium. Just like hospitalized children, Carolina experiences a variety of emotions and procedures during her care and recovery process. When she first arrives at the hospital, she is too sick, weak, and confused to understand what is happening. She has blood drawn, x-rays taken, gets shots, and is hydrated through an IV just as ill children may be! Join her as she interacts with her many caregivers and her sick or injured roommate turtles. Celebrate the happy day she is released back into the open ocean a healthy and happy turtle. An educational supplement is included in the back of the book which includes teaching trivia, conservation issues, a make-your-own sea turtle craft, and sea turtle math games.
This heart-warming journal shares the joys of a mother and daughter s special bond and their summer together as Turtle Team volunteers. Photographs blend with art and prose to bring to life this loving story of their time together protecting endangered loggerhead sea turtles. Join mother and daughter as they patrol the beaches searching for sea turtle nests, and then stand with them under starry skies as they protect the eggs and young hatchlings. Turtle Summer is the journal described in Swimming Lessons, the sequel to Mary Alice Monroe s New York Times bestselling novel, The Beach House.
Imagine finding turtle eggs in your sandbox! When a mother diamondback terrapin lays eggs in a young girl’s sandbox, the girl becomes a turtle-sitter to help the babies safely hatch. She raises the teeny hatchlings until they become big enough to fend for themselves in the wild. Then, with the help of experts, she releases them. Along the way, she learns about these unique animals and that she has made an important contribution to their survival. The For Creative Minds section includes terrapin fun facts; where in the world are terrapins?; and a turtle habitat craft. 2006 ASPCA Henry Bergh Picture Book Award finalist.
Hungry Mr. Gator is a whimsical counting story for young children with authentic South Carolina lowcountry animals as characters. Mr. Gator patiently watches different animals around his swampy lake home, trying to decide which ones are going to be his tasty selection for lunch. Enchanting watercolor illustrations portray the natural setting of the animals’ habitat.
Rejected Mr. Gator travels from a fresh water lake into a salt water creek, searching for acceptance. Slithering through pluff mud and avoiding sharp, crusty oyster shells are just the beginning of the many obstacles he faces during this delightful lowcountry adventure. The watercolor illustrations are so charming, readers can almost smell the flowers and feel the lowcountry salt air.
Go on a fascinating nature hunt to find the camouflaged turtle, snakes, iguana, and other intriguing reptiles hiding in the brilliantly-painted pages of this book.
GUIDES & ACTIVITIES
This unique, simple nature kit gives kids an accessible, engaging introduction to the natural world and the amazing discoveries that can be made from strolling the shoreline. Since the guide focuses on the most common shells, insects, birds, and creatures, kids will feel instantly rewarded when they spot a seagull (or its tracks), dragonfly, or conch shell.
Nature Smart is a family guide loaded with lots of “gee-whiz” facts, along with accurate technical information presented in a user-friendly format. Includes a question-and-answer format and illustrations of more than 170 species of bugs, mammals, and plants.
This interactive workbook is packed with creative, year-round activities for curious naturalists ages 8 to 13. Clare Walker Leslie shows kids how to experience nature with all five senses, whether they live in the countryside, a major city, or somewhere in between. Guiding children through inspiring activities like sketching wildlife, observing constellations, collecting leaves, keeping a weather journal, and watching bird migrations, The Nature Connection encourages kids to engage with the world outside and promotes a lifelong love of nature.
Including the red-winged blackbird, painted bunting, wood duck, great blue heron, ruby-throated hummingbird, purple finch, and blue jay, 46 different species of birds from all parts of the United States are included in this book. The pictures have been faithfully redrawn by Paul E. Kennedy from originals by John James Aububon (1785–1851), the most famous American painter-naturalist.